Are you thinking of starting a small business through the sharing economy? Shared startups are increasingly popular and a great way to maintain flexibility while you earn income. While managing one of these small businesses can be fairly simple, you’ll need to keep some things in mind to become a real success.
Create Financial Goals
Before getting started with your small business, you need to figure out your budget. Come up with some goals you would like to reach with the income from your shared economy gig. Maybe this will be your main source of income, or perhaps you just want to supplement your main income and pay off some bills. Think about what you really want before putting effort into your new gig. Don’t forget to include insurance and user fees in your overall financial forecast.
Protect Your Investment
Before you begin sharing your space or belongings, it’s smart to have them protected. Many sharing sites offer protection to owners, but you need to be sure you understand what those benefits cover. Dig into the fine print and look into getting your own insurance to make sure you won’t be at a financial loss in the case of damage or other issues that may arise.
Get the Right Tech and Equipment
If you want your new small business to succeed, you’ll need to be prepared to invest in some supplies. Get in touch with a representative or manager in your area to figure out what fees or setup costs you may need to take care of before you begin. Then, make a few small investments on your own. A lightweight laptop and smartphone are a good investment for any small business owner. These two pieces of tech help you stay connected to clients and able to work from anywhere. You may also need a decent camera, but newer smartphone cameras are usually good enough to capture images of your property or offerings.
Capture the Attention of Clients
Getting a successful start in the shared economy depends on your ability to connect with other people and promote your business. Take quality photos and stage whatever you have to offer in a way that will appeal to your target audience. Share your listing or opportunity with family and friends to get started. Take care when interacting with potential and actual clients, and always mind your manners. Reviews are essential to bringing in new business, so you need users who are happy enough to leave positive feedback. Small touches can make a big difference.
Organize a Home Workspace
Much of your work is going to be done from home, so be sure you have a spot where you can focus. Take a room, closet or corner of your home and make it into your small business workspace. Snag an inexpensive desk, a comfy chair, and some decent lighting. Make sure your home office is set up in a way that eliminates, or at least decreases, distractions. Music may be fine, but avoid setting up in the same room as your TV, since it can be all too tempting to binge on Hulu rather than get any work done.
Balance Your Schedule
One of the benefits of running a small business is getting to make your own schedule. This can be a downside as well, however. You need to structure your schedule in a way that will keep you productive. Try getting any household tasks or errands taken care of first to keep your mind from wandering. Set aside dedicated time to work on networking and marketing, and stick to that schedule. Be sure to include the time needed to prep your property for new users, or think about hiring someone to take care of some of the prep work for you.
Getting started in the shared economy can be easy. With a little planning and some personal discipline, you can start to earn income from property or items you already own. Just focus on networking and keep your finances straight to keep yourself afloat in this new business venture.
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